More than 500 nurses and other workers walked off the job before dawn Monday at several Bay Area hospitals, disgruntled by proposed layoffs that they say would cripple delivery of care.
The one-day strike shuttered outpatient services at two of Alameda County Medical Center's hospitals and three satellite clinics, which typically serve 1,000 patients a day. Emergency rooms and trauma centers remained open.
Labor leaders said that healthcare workers already suffered from low numbers and that the 200 proposed cuts, an estimated 10% of the workforce, could seriously harm their ability to serve the county's neediest patients.
"I am tired of being short-staffed every day," said Jonna Freskos, 37, an intensive care unit nurse and one of more than 200 picketing nurses, orderlies and clerks who rallied outside Oakland's Highland Hospital on Monday. "Basic needs of the patients are not being met. They are forcing the nurses to do multiple jobs and still expect us to deliver quality patient care."